XPLOR The Blue Ridge

The Blue Ridge Parkway is well known by motorcyclists as one of the longest, curviest and most popular riding routes in the United States. But the Blue Ridge is more than just one road. Noted for its scenic beauty, the Blue Ridge area is a major mountain chain that is part of the Appalachian Mountains.

With picturesque National Parkland on either side of the 'Parkway' road that runs for 469 miles - mostly through protected land - it is a haven for motorcyclists. In mid-June in the Charlottesville area of north Virginia, around 125 BMW tarmac and off-road riders will be joining the XPLOR Blue Ridge event.

This unique, double ride event will involve BMW riders and dealers, who will converge on this beautiful spot to discover the best of the Blue Ridge. BMW Motorrad USA's famous off-road 'GS rides' are always popular, but this one has been specifically designed to include tarmac riders as well as fans of the dirt!

BMW road riders will be given a route sheet for self-guided tours of the beautiful Virginia Piedmont region, featuring historic sites, horse farms, wineries and some of the best two-lane roads imaginable. As an added bonus, well-known BMW racer Nate Kern will be joining BMW owners for the ride and will be on hand to assist and advise on riding techniques.

Off-road enthusiasts who own a GS, Xchallenge or Xcountry with knobby tires are in for a treat, as BMW Motorrad is taking over a 120-acre area of farmland, rolling hills, streams and single-track trails, in addition to a grasstrack and motocross course. Furthermore, this 'day at the farm' will be attended by former BMW factory rider Jimmy Lewis, who will be on hand to help participants enjoy and improve their off-road riding.

The 'Farm' is a perfect playground for off-road motorcyclists, and no matter what your skill level is, there are plenty of challenges to tackle, such as numerous off-road trail sections, and for the competition minded, GS-MX time trials on the grasstrack.

The following day, riders can practice what they've learned during training by participating in the GPS-guided adventure tour. There is a choice of routes of up to 150 miles through the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lead and sweep riders will help riders navigate the dirt and gravel roads through the George Washington and Thomas Jefferson National Forests. The routes are both fun and scenic, while still challenging.

The whole event is being provided free of charge to BMW riders (courtesy of BMW Motorrad USA) who register at the www.bmwxplor.com website. Naturally, participation is limited - XPLOR Blue Ridge Dirt can accommodate 75 participants and the tarmac section can accommodate 50 riders - and AMA membership is required. All riders must participate on their BMW motorcycle (GS, Xchallenge or Xcountry with knobbly tyres are required for the Dirt section).

For more information on membership please visit the AMA website at www.amadirectlink.com and for general event questions, please contact Andrea Noe at eventadmin@bmwxplor.com